Honing his skills under the #OFB banner, North London rapper Headie One soon became one of drill's most engaging figures, finding national success alongside RV on the back of iconic mixtape Drillers & Trappers. Moving into solo work during the late 2010s, the rapper found his biggest success to date with 2019 mixtape Music X Road, which landed at number five on the U.K. album charts.
Rising from the remnants of North London gang Tottenham Mandem, rap collective Star Gang soon became popular on the North London rap scene; the most notable of its members are Tottenham's Headie One (born Irving Adjei) and RV. From day one, the duo's synergy on the mike was evident. Working under the Star Gang moniker through the early 2010s, the pair released early singles like "Youngers from Farm," shifting between more traditional U.K. rap and U.S.-inspired trap for early mixtapes Headz or Tails (Headie One, 2014) and Sticks & Stones (Headie One & RV, 2016). Moving fully into the U.K.'s drill scene, the pair released third mixtape Drillers & Trappers the following year. It was here that the pair truly made their mark: working with producers like MKThePlug and M1OnTheBeat, the duo quickly built a following with their relentless flows and artistic synergy. Marking their singles with the tag #OFB, the duo soon formed drill collective Original Farm Boys, an homage to the Broadwater Farm Estate where they grew up.
Headie continued through the late 2010s with a series of individual releases. His second solo mixtape, The One (2018), produced some of his biggest hits to date, with "Golden Boot" and "Know Better" soon becoming drill staples. After closing out 2018 with third tape The One Two, Headie kicked off 2019 with the long-awaited sequel to Drillers & Trappers, enlisting RV's help for the 13-track set Drillers X Trappers II. Heralded by the Top Ten-charting single "18Hunna," the rapper's fourth tape, Music X Road, arrived later that year; with features including Skepta, Dave, and NAV, the release pushed Headie's brand of drill into new, inventive directions. A strong working relationship with producer Fred Again resulted in the late-2019 single "Charades" before the duo linked up in early 2020 for experimental mixtape GANG. Headie's debut studio album, EDNA, arrived in October 2020: comprising a wide portfolio of styles from trap to drill, the project offered a comprehensive account of Headie's life and career, with some of the rapper's most personal writing to date. ~ David Crone